“If there is instability in not only a neighbouring country (Myanmar), but also in a border state (Manipur), then it is bad for our overall national security. Internal security is very important for us,” Gen Naravane said.
Responding to questions on the situation in strife-torn Manipur at an event on Friday evening, he said, “I am sure that those who are in the chair and responsible for taking whatever actions are due to be taken are doing their best. We should avoid trying to second-guess them. The person on the ground knows best what is to be done.”
The former Army chief said China has been fuelling insurgency in the northeast for decades. “The involvement of foreign agencies, I will not only say cannot be ruled out, but I will say is definitely there, especially Chinese aid to various insurgent groups. They have been helping them for so many years and they will continue,” he said.
Asked about the role of drug trafficking in the ongoing violence in Manipur, Gen Naravane said smuggling of narcotics has been a major problem in the northeast for a very long time, with seizures having only increased over the years.
“We are just a little remote from the Golden Triangle (Thailand, Myanmar and Laos). Myanmar is always in a state of disarray and military rule. Even at the best of times, the government only had control over central Myanmar, not really on the borders, whether with India, China or Thailand. So drug trafficking has always been there,” he added.